Star Wars’ Stormwall Technology Is the Weapon the Empire Needed All Along


Warning! This post contains SPOILERS for Star Wars: The High Republic: Shadows of Starlight #2


  • The Nihil have unleashed the Stormwall, a new defensive weapon that seals off a region of the galaxy, asserting their dominance and challenging the Republic.
  • Beyond the Stormwall, The Nihil’s unique Path Engines and control over the Nameless, ancient Force predators, make them a formidable threat to the Jedi.
  • The future Empire could have used the Stormwall technology to further oppress the galaxy, but its absence in the original trilogy suggests it may eventually become outdated or lost.

The High Republic Era has debuted a new technology the Empire could have put to use in the Star Wars timeline. Set in the centuries before the events of The Phantom Menace and the prequel trilogy, Lucasfilm’s High Republic publishing initiative has been exploring an age of peace and prosperity for the Republic and Jedi Order that’s become darkly tainted by the major threat known as the Nihil. To that end, the third phase of the High Republic showcases a new weapon wielded by the marauders following their attack on the Jedi’s Starlight Beacon.

As seen in Star Wars: The High Republic: Shadows of Starlight #2 by Charles Soule and Marika Cresta, the Nihil have unleashed the Stormwall, a new defensive weapon capable of sealing off an entire region of the galaxy, preventing any ships from entering its occlusion zone at lightspeed. Now known as Nihil Space, the marauders’ leader Marchion Ro has staked his claim on this vast section of the galaxy and all those living within it. It’s a major declaration of defiance against the Republic’s influence in the Outer Rim.

Marchio Ro and Stormwall in High Republic

Likewise, this new technology has been activated in the aftermath of the Nihil’s destruction of Starlight Beacon, a victory that’s made even the Jedi fearful of what could come next. However, Palpatine’s future Empire could have greatly used the Stormwall during the original trilogy as well.

Related: How To Watch Star Wars Movies In Order

The High Republic’s Jedi Order Came To Fear The Nihil

The Nihil Knew How To Deal With Jedi

High Republic Jedi and the Nihil.

When it comes to the Nihil, there was plenty for the Jedi to fear even before the Stormwall was activated. Firstly, the Nihil had their unique Path Engines, devices that allowed their numerous ships to traverse and jump through hyperspace with deadly accuracy across very short distances, a key advantage during their raids and space battles with the Jedi and Republic. Furthermore, Marchion Ro also has command over the ancient Force predators known as the Nameless.

The Nameless feed on the energy of Force-sensitives with the ability to completely paralyze even the strongest Jedi with hallucinogenic terror. Jedi will also die if they’re in the proximity of a Nameless for too long, becoming nothing more than stone husks after their energy and life force is drained by the feeding predators. To that end, unleashing the Nameless was a critical reason why Starlight fell, and why the Jedi have since activated their Emergency Protocols in the aftermath of the great loss (which tragically had several casualties).

The Empire Should Have Used The Stormwall

Did It Become Outdated?

As if the Path Engines and Nameless weren’t enough, the Nihil now have the Stormwall and their own region of space closed off from the rest of the galaxy. Created using a series of devices known as seeds, the technology was developed using the work of scientist Chancey Yarrow on gravity well projection, creating an artificial well strong enough to rip ships out of hyperspace. As such, it’s surprising that the future Empire didn’t use this same technology to further oppress the galaxy.

The Empire could have activated Stormwalls around planets they sought to punish by using them as blockades, thereby cutting off support and aid. Additionally, they could have set up a Stormwall around the construction of the Death Star, providing yet another layer of defense beyond what was seen in the original Star Wars trilogy. That said, the lack of Stormwall technology during the Skywalker saga does suggest that the Jedi and/or High Republic will eventually find a way to circumvent the Stormwall, likely rendering it outdated or the technology being lost like the Nihil’s Path Engines were hundreds of years later in the Star Wars canon.

Star Wars: The High Republic: Shadows of Starlight #2 from Marvel Comics is on sale now.

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